Thursday, August 14, 2014

{style} it's all about the Choos

I wasn't always into fashion. In fact, I was considered a bonafide tomboy until about sophomore year until I decided to put on some makeup, get a job in retail + stopped wearing the same outfits week after week. In reality, this time period was all about the return of bell bottom flared jeans, those tattoo choker necklaces + butterfly clips [all from Wet Seal], so you can't really blame me can you?

While this experimental phase usually had me browsing the sale racks for some unique pieces so I didn't look like everyone I passed in the hallway [I had a lot of patience for this then and wish I still had it at times], the one thing I found myself allowing myself to spend money on were quality shoes. Again, the shoes I wore then were 100% questionable + added at least 10 lbs below my ankles, but they always held up.

Since then I have learned the hard way, and been reinforced by some fashionable friends [both male and female] that you get what you pay for. You know those snakeskin sandals I wear in pretty much every post? I got them for about $200 on sale at Barney's Co-op about 2 years ago and I wear them to death. And you know why? Besides the fact that they are gorgeous, they are the most comfortable shoes I own because they were made really, really well. I can walk to the subway, work all day, and go out at night in reasonable comfort.

What's my point, you ask? My new job has now placed me about 500 feet away from Saks Fifth Avenue [DANGER] which I went to a few weeks ago, finding myself in their Designer Sale looking back at a pair of Jimmy Choo pumps that I was lusting over months back [there is actually a Nicholas Kirkwood pair, too, but I digress]. While the original $700 price tag was too much for me in February, I could reasonably justify spending 1/4 of that. I usually consider pieces that are snakeskin and leopard my 'neutrals', so the silver and black details didn't deter me to add these as a similar staple. Oh, how great these will look with some cuffed boyfriend jeans and this same top...


H&M boyfriend shirt
Zara lace skirt [old, similar style]
Jimmy Choo Typhoon pumps [alternate color here, similar style here and here]
Heirloom choker
H&M makeup bag as clutch
Rayban Full Color Aviators




Monday, August 11, 2014

{beauty} deborah lippmann | New York Marquee

Not going to restate the obvious about deborah lippmann polish [you can go for that here, here and here], but I will rave about her new New York Marquee collection that just launched. She did it again. She is calling this fresh metallic finish "luxe chrome", which I couldn't have named better myself - there is something about the way that light catches these finishes on the nail that is pretty hard to top and does feel truly luxe. And the colors! It's hard for someone with such pale skin to pull off a silver, gold or rose nail, but these compliment the skin instead of the color reflecting on it [you know, when you put on a color and your skin seems to turn that shade slightly?].

While I'm not totally ready to upgrade for Fall just yet, when I do I will be starting with that insanely good pewter color [Take The "A" Train] and promise to share the results!


"From Bowery to Broadway, each nail lacquer reflects the ever-dazzling sights, sounds, and spirit of the city. Inspired by 1940's luxury and vintage fabrics, the collection of six colors employs an innovative, new luxe chrome finish." 

Take The "A" Train [pewter]
Autumn in New York [gold
Lullaby Of Broadway [blush]
12th Street Rag [magenta]
Harlem Nocturne [indigo]
I'll Take Manhattan [teal]

photos: Robin West


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

{beauty} Diptyque Figuier

I have always lusted after Diptyque, but usually from a far distance as the thought of spending more than $10 on a candle would pain me. That was before my obsession with all things fig started.

I came across a lovely fig candle in a Nolita shop that I couldn't get my mind off of, but couldn't find when I went back. When I found myself in the Diptyque store a few days later and smelled their fig version, I instantly fell in love. Such a lovely scent and not overwhelming, which is key for me because anything with too much fragrance makes me slightly nauseous [it happens when you had an evil relative growing up that bathed in Chanel No. 5].  

The problem I have now is trying another scent... I just don't think I can come to trying something new. Even though I have brought home a few pretty stellar sample fragrances that are as close to perfect as they come, there is just so much about this scent that makes my apartment feel like home.

Which scent is your favorite?


photo: Robin West

Diptyque Fig Candle here

Thursday, July 31, 2014

{style} balancing act

I've said it before and I'll say it again... it's all about mixing highs and lows.  This recent outfit [which you may have seen last week on Instagram with different shoes] includes pieces that were from $7.95 to a whopping $1,000+ [it was a gift mom, relax!].  To me, it makes an outfit a bit more interesting and balanced when it's not one extreme or the other.  And honestly, it's very hard to wear such an over the top statement necklace without a basic top to balance it out.


Elizabeth Cole "Taylor" necklace c/o Paire.us [similar color marked down on Outnet here]
H&M jersey tank 
H&M A-Line Midi [in stores, Asos version here, luxe version here]
Borrowed Kate Spade tote [similar low version here, higher version here]
Jimmy Choo "Typhoon" pumps - HUGE score from Saks' designer sale [seemingly sold out, alternative shade here]




Tuesday, July 29, 2014

{beauty} necessary objects

I am a creature of habit. I don't usually change my beauty regime often and when I find something good, I usually always stick to it. That being said, I also have been exploring more when it comes to products, mostly skincare for my face and a bold lip. When you are younger, changing the product that you apply above the neck is more harmful than good, but when you age this is something that you actually need to do. And, always being a bit bummed when the first week glow disappears, I am exploring my options.

Since I last shared the goods, I have tried out numerous things, and signed up for Birchbox to be a bit more proactive. One of my favorite products from there so far is a Cynthia Rowley silver eyeliner that works similar to Benefit's Eye Bright, but as my skin can get a bit oily and Eye Bright can sometimes get stuck in my under eye wrinkles, the eyeliner sticks a bit more and lasts longer for me. A brightener like this is the easiest way to make your eyes pop in a 'natural' way.














On the SPF front...what a journey. I used to have an amazing every day SPF that has seemingly vanished from existence, leaving me to experiment. I must have gone through 5 brands and always ended up with either white clumps on my face, a lotion that didn't spread well and a lotion that didn't absorb and made me look like Casper. The Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture hit the mark on every need, but I need to be clear, the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer line is the one that left white clumps on my face. You need to test. You also need to be open to returning the products when Casper is not your goal [I always made fun of my mother for doing this, but as I'm quickly turning into her, I decided to listen].

I've also started using the sensitive line of Roc products for nighttime. BUT, products like this need to be researched because as I luckily found out from knowledgeable colleagues, you should not use this on days when you go in the sun. The Retinol and the sun can damage your skin in ways you don't want to deal with. So, this becomes a Monday-Thursday nighttime routine, nothing more.

To quickly review the remaining 'tops', e.l.f.'s primer is so, so, so good. And it's under $6. And you can grab it from Target on your weekly run. The texture is perfect. I was also introduced to Buxom's line of lipsticks - matte is something I have usually ran from because of the drying affect, but this... this lipstick I can't get enough of. It has gotten me through HOURS of wear, through sips of a drink, and even through lunch. I still love my custom Bite lip, but I'm slightly obsessed with this new one and can't stop.

Lastly, I have been wearing nail polish since September/October without a break and my nails need some major TLC. Deborah Lippmann's nail care [you know how I adore the colors] are kind of key to having bare nails, but nice looking bare nails. Using the cuticle oil is a necessity always, but the Smooth Operator [any 4-in1 file, really] allows your nails to breath, look good and have a natural shine.

It seems like a lot, but each has a purpose, and each is used when needed. The key is to test it out and find your rhythm, like anything else.




Thursday, July 24, 2014

{style} white-out with Cotton

There are some pieces that you come across and have no reason to purchase it [been there done that], but you just know that it is something that you should bring home so you don't experience regret later. Seeing this Mantu 2-piece dress was just that instance. My justification is that it's 100% Cotton [which not much is nowadays, check your label!], so it's really easy to pack and travel to, I don't know, Italy, Spain, or a weekend in France.... 

I am wearing it here at an adorable cottage my friend and I escaped to in Montauk last week, but it also made quite an impression on the streets of Madison Avenue for work 2 weeks ago. That seems like it was worth the buy, already.


SHOP // Mantu 2-piece dress (similar styles below, Diana Broussard Plexiglass & Resin Chain Necklace, B. Makowsky clutch (old, similar here and here), Barney's New York sandals - best purchase of my life (old, similar here)




Tuesday, July 22, 2014

{style} Montauk getaways

I just took an unexpected, but much needed, girls getaway to Montauk early last week for the first time. While the weather was an unfortunate bust and felt like we were there in the middle of October, I was able to take a quick walk and sneak away to the beach with some necessary essentials.

I rarely wear this high-waisted bikini bottom to avoid strange tan lines, but as there wasn't too much sun, I was able to get away with that, a denim shirt thrown over me, and an easy Panama Hat. Just in case the sun did decide to come out... 



photo: Robin West [follow on Instagram for more!]

Target bikini top separate [style still available in stores, similar here], American Apparel bikini bottom separate [similar here], Urban Outfitters Panama hat [old, similar here], Ray Ban Full Color Aviators, Kensie back pack [similar sized options here + here]



Friday, July 18, 2014

{editorial} MakeSpace

If you live in a city like NYC, I don't have to explain how valuable space is. Even though I have a decent sized one-bedroom apartment of my own, closet space, and room to stack storage bins out of sight, I can never seem to have enough room. I DO have a shoe/bag/clothing problem.

I hate clutter. I hate the amount of books I have that I know I will never read again, but still won't get rid of. Winter boots that take up a beautiful vintage trunk in my living room because I have no where else to hide them during warmer months. The wasted space on thick cable knit sweaters and down coats.  [exhale]

I have never had a storage space because I'm lazy and the thought of renting a car/calling a cab to take you back and forth and lifting boxes by myself is not ideal and it is pricey. That was, until I was contacted by the brilliant minds over at MakeSpace and they opened my eyes the same way Uber has for transportation. 


Ok, so here is how it works. You create an account and schedule a time for their team to drop off bins to your door. You pack them up [mine included the random mixing of blankets, boots, more shoes, and travel books above that are more depressing than helpful], label each bin and schedule a pick up.

Here's the best part. Once THE nicest "Upload Team" comes and takes it all away, they create a virtual catalogue, a "Closet in the Cloud" if you will, of everything you are storing and which bin it's in. So, say in 3 months I'm ready for a heavier coat [heaven's forbid], I can log into my account, see which bin it's in, and schedule it to have it dropped off to my door. !!!!


Because they aren't awesome enough already, they have just launched a partnership with Goodwill NY/NJ for a donation tie-in [my weak spot]. They are supplying customers with a huge blue bag that a grown adult can fit in [trust me, I tried it] to put in anything you want to donate and they take it from you. For me, I focused on the bulkier items that I can't take on mass transit to drop off somewhere - gently used coats, shoes, bags, sweaters, a comforter - all those items that you hold on to for the sole purpose of just not knowing what else to do with them.

Ok, I need to wind down, but you know by now how excited I get by things that make life easier. Anything that can save a few moments in a New Yorker's life is worth a bit of a cheer.